Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Of Late Cukes and Beautiful Soil

Lots of lovely light rain at the minute,and over the last 24 hours, after a hot, dry and windy day on Monday. My late cucumbers are loving it, but it is yet to be seen if I get much of a crop from them. Ditto my late spuds, which are doing well.

Early cukes

These are my late cukes, above. They remind me that I haven't talked about the soil here, which is a heavy clay loam with lots of large water-washed gravel through it. The soil around the cukes has had a fair bit of compost added to it, so has "blackened" up a bit compared to the natural soil.

Some of the kitchen garden is quite heavy compared with the rest as that is where the soil went from the footings when I had an extension built - it isn't quite clay, but close, and I am still breaking it down with compost. I tend with my compost to spread an occasional layer of soil from the kitchen garden through the bins and that gets processed down through the compost by the worms.

I don't really know the pH of my soil - I have one of those little electronic gizmos, but I gather they are not dreadfully accurate. And, as I see it, your soil varies from place to place across the garden anyway, depending on level of compost you have added and liming - I tend to throw a little bit onto the kitchen garden, but don't use it elsewhere.

But all in all, it is good soil. One of the first things we were reminded when I went away to college and actually studied horticulture many years ago, was that dirt was what got on your face - soil was what was in the garden.

I have just finished weeding all the six large beds in the kitchen garden, and the whole kitchen garden, including the soil, is looking rather good.


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